Royals look to dent run column, salvage a win in Cleveland

CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Indians' pitching is red hot and the Kansas Royals' hitters are ice cold.

The two will meet Sunday at Progressive Field in the final game of athree-game series. The Indians won the first two games Friday and Saturday by shutouts in both games and by identical scores of 4-0.

Indians pitchers have shut out the Royals five times this season. Kansas City has not scored a run in its last 25 innings.

"Our offense, we're having trouble scoring runs," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "We haven't scored a run in 25 innings, but it doesn't feel like we're struggling. We're still getting some great swings."

Indians pitchers, meanwhile, lead the majors with 14 shutouts. No other American League team has more than nine.

The Indians will go into Sunday's game with a much-needed second left-hander in their bullpen.

On Saturday, Cleveland selected the contract of left-hander Craig Breslow from Triple-A Columbus. Before the addition of Breslow, the only lefty in the bullpen was rookie Tyler Olson. Veteran Andrew Miller is on the disabled list.

Breslow, 37, was signed by the Indians on Aug. 4 after he was released by Minnesota. In 30 relief appearances with the Twins before being released, Breslow was 1-1 with a 5.23 ERA. In seven relief appearances with Columbus, Breslow had a 3.86 ERA and held left-handed hitters to a .083 batting average (1-for-12).

"The reason he's here is to match up with left-handed hitters. He's a veteran guy who has done it," Indians manager Terry Francona said.

Olson has been outstanding for the Indians since being recalled from Columbus on July 21, when left-handed reliever Boone Logan was placed on the DL.

Since his recall, Olson has appeared in 15 games and has not allowed a run. In 10 innings, he has given up nine hits with 13 strikeouts and three walks.

"We're pleased with Olson, but he was the only (left-hander) out there (in the bullpen)," Francona said. "We don't want to use him too much."

Carlos Carrasco will be Cleveland's Sunday starter. Carrasco got off to an excellent start this season but has been very inconsistent the last six weeks. On July 7, Carrasco was 10-3 with a 3.44 ERA. However, in eight starts since then, he is 2-3 with a 5.12 ERA.

In his last start, on Aug. 22 against the Red Sox, Carrasco losta 9-1 Boston decision. He went6 2/3 innings, allowing six runs and eight hits.

Carrasco's last start against the Royals came June 3 of this year when he took the loss in a 12-5 Kansas City win. He gave up five runs in 4 1/3 innings. In 20 career appearances against the Royals, Carrasco is 7-6 with a 3.71 ERA.

Left-hander Eric Skoglund (1-1, 5.59) will start for the Royals in place of Danny Duffy, who has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a sore left elbow. It will be Skoglund's fourth career major league start.

Skoglund was recalled from Triple-A Omaha on Aug. 19, but he hasn't pitched since Aug. 15 for Omaha. In 19 starts at Omaha, Skoglund was 4-5 with a 4.11 ERA.

One of Skoglund's three major league starts came June 4 against Cleveland. The start was a brief one. Skoglund pitched two innings, giving up four runs on four hits and took the 8-0 loss.